• WordNet 3.6
    • n napkin garment consisting of a folded cloth drawn up between the legs and fastened at the waist; worn by infants to catch excrement
    • n napkin a small piece of table linen that is used to wipe the mouth and to cover the lap in order to protect clothing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the 18th century, potatoes were given out as a dessert. They were served in a napkin, salted and hot
    • Napkin A handkerchief.
    • Napkin A little towel, made of cloth or paper, esp. one for wiping the fingers and mouth at table.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n napkin A handkerchief; a kerchief of any kind.
    • n napkin A small square piece of linen cloth, now usually damask, used at table to wipe the lips and hands and to protect the clothes.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Napkin nap′kin a cloth for wiping the hands: a handkerchief
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Dim. of OF. nape, a tablecloth, cloth, F. nappe, L. mappa,. See Napery
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Dim. of Fr. nappe.


In literature:

He rolled up his napkin and rose before the dessert had come to an end, as was frequently his custom.
"A Love Episode" by Emile Zola
The fish is laid upon a little sauce or folded napkin, on a hot dish, and garnished with parsley.
"The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887)" by Mrs. F.L. Gillette
The head was placed upon a napkin stretched over the top of a champagne glass.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 483, April 4, 1885" by Various
Each plate is lifted off with its own napkin.
"Etiquette" by Emily Post
He took it up and put it in a napkin.
"Gods and Fighting Men" by Lady I. A. Gregory
If any fruit-stains are on napkins or table-cloths, lay the stained part over a bowl, and pour on boiling water till they disappear.
"The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking" by Helen Campbell
There was no napkin beside his plate at breakfast.
"'Doc.' Gordon" by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman
But it seemed they possessed no napkins whatever.
"Bunker Bean" by Harry Leon Wilson
The table was clothed in clean white, and there was a napkin at each plate.
"The Fat of the Land" by John Williams Streeter
The vice-president rose and dusted the cigar-ash from his coat-sleeve with the table-napkin.
"The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush" by Francis Lynde

In poetry:

She hang ae napkin at the door,
Another in the ha,
And a' to wipe the trickling tears,
Sae fast as they did fa.
"Fair Annie" by Andrew Lang
He gets into your way, he fusses,
You hear his footsteps overhead,
He tears the napkin off the table
And creeps in slippers to the bed.
"July" by Boris Pasternak
"And take a napkin in your hand,
And tie up baith your bonny e'en,
And you may swear, and save your aith,
Ye saw me na since late yestreen."
"Clerk Saunders" by Andrew Lang
At the table beyond us
With her little suede slippers off,
With her white-stocking'd feet
Carefully kept from the floor by a napkin,
She converses:
"Black Slippers: Bellotti" by Ezra Pound
Thus having spoke, she raisèd up her head,
And saw the bloody napkin by her side,
Which in her arms she brought; and now, tenfold
More terrifièd, saw it unfold itself.
"Fair Elanor" by William Blake
`Take this,' he cried; and thrust into her arms
A wet napkin, wrapp'd about; then rush'd
Past, howling: she receiv'd into her arms
Pale death, and follow'd on the wings of fear.
"Fair Elanor" by William Blake

In news:

Create a lovely rose with this napkin -folding technique.
A Pig Roast for the Cloth Napkin Crowd.
So has the price of paper products like napkins.
Illustration by Jonathon Kimbrell/Napkin Art Studios.
Napkins serve double duty at the hard-hit Governor in Brooklyn, NY.
Make party season a class act with cloth cocktail napkins.
Mr Manners pulls five options from under his napkin.
I placed a wrapped Valentine candy on each napkin.
"Top 100 step-by-step" Napkin Folds by Denise Vivaldo book cover.
"No one has even drawn an evacuation plan on the back of a cocktail napkin yet," one official said.
How to fold fancy napkins.
Personal Finance on a Napkin.
Fold the right third of the napkin in toward the center.

In science:

On a paper napkin, Bob wrote e−βH “That’s it in a nutshell”. “Surely you must be kidding Mr.
A First Exposure to Statistical Mechanics for Life Scientists
The answer to the simpler inverse question—which matrices converge for a given pair of coefficients?— can be obtained from and a few napkins.
Operator Coefficient Methods for Linear Equations